Homily for Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion
Today we enter Holy Week, a week when we remember the most sacred events within the tradition of our faith. As we walk with the Lord through the Last Supper and the Institution of the Eucharist, as we are crucified with Him on Good Friday, and as we celebrate the joy of the Resurrection, may we remember what these events mean for us, the purpose they accomplished. Jesus endured His Passion and Death for our redemption; He rose from the dead to restore the original innocence and holiness that was lost in the Fall of our First Parents; this is the Paschal Mystery, the greatest gift of our faith, the events that make it possible for us to be able to dwell with the Father for all Eternity in Heaven.
But we are not only spectators in those events. We also have to be active participants. The Passion of Jesus gives us our example to follow as Christians. It is the same path that we must walk. Each and every day we are called to take up our crosses and to follow the Lord. Each and every day we are called to look at all of the events in the life of Jesus and find in them direction and guidance for our lives. Each and every day we are called to look at Jesus’ life and allow Him to fill our hearts with hope and faith.
In his homily for Palm Sunday back in 2010, Pope Benedict XVI said this:
“Faith in Jesus Christ is not a legendary invention. It is based on a true story. This history we can…contemplate and touch. It is moving to find oneself in Nazareth in the place where the Angel appeared to Mary and intimated to her the duty to become the Mother of the Redeemer. It is moving to be in Bethlehem on the spot where the Word, made flesh, came to dwell among us; to walk on the holy ground in which God chose to become a man and a child. It is moving to climb the steps to Calvary, to the place where Jesus died for us on the Cross. And lastly, to stand before the empty sepulchre; to pray where his holy body rested and where, on the third day, the Resurrection occurred. Following the exterior ways taken by Jesus must help us walk more joyfully and with new certainty on the interior way that he pointed out to us, that is he himself.”
This week, let’s walk with Jesus. May the events of this most sacred of times lead us to an encounter with Christ, may they transform us and lead us to a change of heart. Jesus did this for us. He did it because He loved us. Let’s embrace that and respond with thanksgiving to God for the gift of our salvation and redemption.
Image: Jesus entering Jerusalem, fresco from the collegiate church of San Gimignano in Tuscany. Photo by Lawrence OP. Used under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Creative Commons license.